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HAT a blessing is the gospel, that brings light,
joy, and liberty to the nations. Without it the world was in darkness and danger; but when the sun of righteousness arose, a glorious light spread itself; and men are guided by it in the way of truth, peace, and happiness,
The burden of grief and guilt is taken away by the word and spirit of God, the yoke of sin and satan is broken, and they become free. No wonder this occasions great joy; especially when the Gospel comes with power on particular fouls, and produces these blessed effects.
2. A glorious idea is here given us of the person, offices, and government of Christ, which it is
of Christ, which it is proper and comfortable to reflect upon. He is wonderful in his person and offices; a counsellor, as he discovers the most important truths, and the gracious purposes of God; a mighty God, able to save unto the uttermost; the father of the age, the greatest friend and benefactor to it; and he is the prince of peace,
whose administration is righteous, peaceful, and happy; and whatever opposition may be made to it, it thall increase and prosper, till it terminates in everlasting glory; of his government and peace there fhall be no end. Let us reverence this glorious prince, and magnify the Lord of Hofts, whose pity, love, and zeal have performed all this for us.
3. We are taught the design of affliction. God smites us that we may turn to him, and seek him with sincerity and fervour. If this end be not answered, his hand will be stretched out still to correct us more heavily. Let us therefore humble ourselves under his mighty hand, and comply with the designs of his providence, that the stroke may be turned away from us, and our afflictions be succeeded by hope and joy.
4. We see the sad consequences of continuing unreformed by the judgments of God. ch. x. 3. A day of visitation will come; a day of judgment and strict enquiry into our conduct, and the principles on which we have acted; and a day of desolation to the impenitent, when no place shall be found to which they may fly; all their glory fhall vanish, and they shall find it no more. It becomes us all seriously to think of this day of visitation, and secure a refuge in Jesus Christ; that we may obtain that salvation, which is by him unto eternal glory.
acted; as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols ? as my hand hath destroyed
CHA P. X. 5, to the end. We have here an account of the design of the Assyrians in
invading Judah, and God's design in permitting it ; and also a prophecy of their destruction, and the deliverance of God's people. 5
Affyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff
in their hand is mine indignation; the Asyrian monarch is my instrument ; my anger against Israel gives 6 him all his power. I will send him against an hypocriti
cal nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets ; the Israelites are hypocritical, they are not karty in Hezekiah's reformation, nor fincere in their prayers and
professions ; therefore the Asyrian fhall plunder their coun7 try; and strip them of their wealth. Howbeit he mean
eth not so, neither doth his heart think so, he does not intend to do my will; but [it is] in his heart to destroy
and cut off nations not a few; to enlarge his dominions, 8 and gratify his ambition. For he faith, [are] not my
princes altogether kings ? have not I many princes tribu
tary to me, and are not my courtiers and officers' as great as 9 kings? [IS] not Calno as Carchemish ?' [is] not
Hamath as Arpad ? [is] not Samaria as Damascus ?
are not the cities of Judah as easy to be taken as those I 19 have already conquered? As my hand hath found the
kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did 11 excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria ; Shall I not,
kingdoms and cities whose gods are reckoned more power12 ful than Jehovah, Malt- I not as eofily destroy Judah?
Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, when I Mall have done what I intended, and chestened and humbled my people, I will punish the fruit of the fout heart of the king of Allyria, and the
glory of his high looks. I will punish his high words, 13 which are the fruit of his proud heart. For he faith, by
the strength of my, hand I have done [it], and by my wisdcm ; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant (man]; I have been my wisdom, strength, and
valour, by removing the bounds of the people and trans14. plenting colonies. And my hand hath found as a nest
the riches of the people : and as one gathereth eggs (that are] left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped; I have carried away their wealth, as easily as a man robs a bird's nest, and they durst complain. Thus the great king of Asyria boasted and
threatened ;- we shall now see what a greater king" saith to 15 him. Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth
therewith ? [or] shall the law magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake (itself] against them that lift it up, [or) as if the staff should lift up [itself, as if it were] no wood; is not the staff when lifted up wood still ? and shall a dead, lifeless inftrument boast itself against him that uses it? As absurd is it
for the king of Allyria to boost of what he hath done, when 16 he is but my tool. Therefore shall the Lord, the
LORD of hosts, send among his fat ones, his chief officers and great men, leanness; and under his glory he Thall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire; he
jhall deprive him of his honour and power, and destroy his 17 army, which is his glory. And the light of Israel shall
be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one
day; he who is the support and comfort of Israel, shall be
a fire to the Asyrians, and will destroy his army as easily as 18 fire burns briars and thorns; And shall consume the
glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard bearer fainteth; tho' he be as strong as the trees in a forest, or as numerous as the cornfields, yet God will consume both soul and body; the chief commanders and the main body of the army itself shall be totally routed, and the remainder shall be dis
pirited, as the whole army is put into confusion when a 19 standard bearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his
forest shall be few, that a child may write them; there shall be no occasion for a muster master, a child may keep the roll.
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him, that is, the Asyrian, that smote them; but shall stay upon the
LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth, and not hypo21 critically. The remnant shall return, (even] the rem22 nant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy
people Ifrael be as the sand of the sea, (yet) a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed Thall overflow with righteousness; tho' many shall be destroyed
by the Asyrians, yet a remnant of the righteous shall be 23 saved; and all shall be done with striet justice. For the
'Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land; he hath deter-, mined exaetly how far it shall extend, and how long it shall
continue. 24 Therefore thus faith the Lord God of hosts, O my
people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt; he
fall do thee some injury and threaten more, talk big, like 25 Pharaoh; but fear not, For, yet a very little while, and
the indignation against thee Thall cease, and mine anger Vol. V.
in St. Paul applies this to the Jews, in Rom. ix. 27. to prove that it is no new thing for God to abandon many of Abraham's feed, tho' the promise holds good, there shall still be a remnant.
in their destruction; my anger shall show itself in the utter 26 destruction of the Asyrians. And the Lord of hosts shall
ftir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and [as] his rod (was] upon the sea, fo shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt; he will bring on their destruction as suddenly, and by as unlikely means, as the destruction of the Midianites and Egyptians. A beautiful contrast; he shall threaten you after the manner of Egypt, and I will smite him in the same man
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing; thou shalt have no fear of his invasions, and pay no more tribute, for the sake
of the Messiah. 28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at 29 Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: They are
gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodg
ing at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. 30 Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to 31 be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.
Anathoth. Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather them
selves to flee; denoting the fear, hurry, and confusion of 32 the people, upon the news of his invasion. As yet shall he
remain at Nob that day, from whence he might see Jerusalem : he shall shake his hand, and that shall be all
, (against] the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill 33 of Jerusalem. Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of
ftature ( shall be] hewn down, and the haughty shall 34 be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of
the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one, that is, the destroying angel; the image is taken from cutting down a forest; the
Asyrian army, with their swords, bows, and pikes lifted up,
look like a moving forest, but they shall be entirely and irrecoverably cut down.